Instagram is a great platform for brand promotion. Its full marketing potential is yet to be fully realized.
Businesses that sell physical goods can benefit greatly from creating engaging visual narratives. Here is how.
Once reserved only for teenagers and celebrities, this social media platform quickly became the number one tool for promotion. Pretty pictures, filters, and video marketing are essential for making engaging and savvy campaigns.
With its almost 800 million users Instagram is a perfect platform for expanding your audience. You don’t need to be an influencer or a major brand to make Instagram work for your small businesses. All you need are a good strategy and some simple hacks.
The biggest advantage of Instagram for business, besides it being an affordable platform that can get you to millions of people, is that it can help you build better customer relationships. About 90% of all social media users turn to social media to get information about a product and to communicate with brands. And not just that, 70% of people on social media are more likely to buy a product or use a service if a brand has a social media presence.
How do you start with Instagram for business
The first step is to create an Instagram business account. Add a nice profile picture, link toward your website, write a short bio and voila – you’re all set.
If you’re working in a specific niche try to find bigger brands that offer the same products. This is not about copying someone’s else strategy. It’s all about finding who your potential fans are. You should follow people who are interested in similar products but don’t follow them until you add some nice visuals.
The art of storytelling on Instagram
Instagram Stories are powerful. Storytelling is all about immersing followers into a unique visual narrative. Take some time to think about your product.
Are you selling home decor or car parts? What is your industry like?
Those with a technical background can create compelling sleek posts and make them all about functionality. Food-related products should feature mouth watering images of tasty dishes.
Create a common theme between the images by using similar angles, lighting and filters. Create albums and catchy captions that take your followers and a sensual journey that surpasses the purely visual stimulation.
Instagram is a great platform for acquiring new customers
Small businesses quite often don’t have the budget to get marketing agencies to promote their goods. This is where Instagram comes to the rescue.
The first step in any marketing strategy is to use word-of-mouth marketing. A nice and honest review, or even a small comment, goes a long way, and if it’s written underneath a pretty Instagram picture, it will do wonders for your brand awareness.
Your audience needs to know who you are, what you do and what your product is about. Start with getting one positive review. Engage with your fans and always reply to comments.
This way you will learn how to communicate with your audience, find out what they like and figure out which strategy of yours actually works. Always monitor engagement and invest in posts that work.
Once you create a small following, post fun content using Instagram stories. Stories are an excellent way to inform about news, to announce big changes or new products. Use stories to keep up with latest trends as they have incredible engagement rate.
If it’s holiday season, stick to summer themes. Add big sports events and holidays and national dog, cat or hamburger day to your calendar and try to make your posts relevant to a trending theme. Use Days of the Year calendar to plan your Instagram strategy.
Show your followers how you celebrate. Reveal the human side of your business.
Learn how to use hashtags
Hashtags help users find interesting content.
The smart use of hashtags is the go-to strategy for getting new followers. Use proven hashtags that are already trending and relevant in your industry. Don’t try to be overly creative and make up your own.
When you post relevant hashtags, people interested in the topics you promote will be able to discover you in explore page. If your content is interesting enough and it speaks well of your business, you will get new followers.
You can’t make every single trending hashtag work.
If your company sells sewing machines, it is hard to make content relevant to the National Burger Day. However, there’s Sewing Machine Day celebrated on June 13th which fits like a glove.
It is important to not use too many hashtags and stick only to a couple of relevant ones. On Instagram, you can have more than 30 hashtags, but don’t go overboard. It’s unprofessional, counterproductive and ultimately can lead to a ban of your account.
Never stop learning
Social media is changing constantly.
It’s important to keep up with latest trends and always be the first one to jump on board.
Of course, stick to trends that you are comfortable with. Never mind the filters, Instagram is not a place where you should pretend to be someone you’re not. To stay relevant follow the industry news, and watch out for changes in social media advertising
In 2018 Instagram banned quite a lot of hashtags, including famous #dogsofinstragram and even simple ones like #books. The reason for this action was to stop people and businesses from abusing these hashtags. Check out the complete list of the recently banned hashtags and don’t waste your time on them.
Instagram is excellent customer support
It’s remarkable how much social media influenced customer support. More than half of Instagram users will post positive reviews about a brand or service. This is how your followers market your business.
It’s up to you to make the most of it and engage in conversation and write thank you comments.
Mind, you should never delete negative comments. Instead, respond to harsh criticism in a humble, yet confident way. Use this opportunity to find out what went wrong and why is your customer unhappy.
This is firsthand market research. Once your followers see that you can handle criticisms and stay positive about your fans and products, they will appreciate you even more.
Instagram will give your business personality and help you learn more about the target audience. It is a powerful marketing tool that allows you to promote your product and connect with your fans.